Actual Service Charges less than RO figures

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  • #38194
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We have a sheltered housing scheme which belongs to a Housing Association. They have de-registered which means that we now have to refer the rents to the RO. They only pass on the service charges that they incur to the residents but the RO values them higher. For example the HA value the services at £50.01 per month but the RO estimates £69.33 which is a standard national amount. Apparently the RO does not have discretion any longer to vary the charge. We do not want to penalise the residents by taking a higher deduction than needs be but we’re concerned that if we do not follow the RO’s figures could be outside of the regs. Also if we do use the lower figures we can’t work out how to show on Northgate that we have overridden the RO figures which could potentially have subsidy implications.

    Any comments/advice/guidance gratefully received I’m not sure where to begin!

    #107616
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Assuming this is an exempt accommodation case, the Rent Officer’s service charge valuation only affects your subsidy claim – service charges deducted from the claimant’s eligible rent should be assessed under Schedule 1. That says that you can increase the amount of an ineligible service charge if you think that the landlord is under-specifying it. You might take the RO valuation as a trigger for further investigation, but otherwise it isn’t binding at all.

    #107667
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for your reply Peter unfortunately the cases aren’t exempt accommodation, we have some LHA & some ODRT cases, none are exempt. The LHA ones won’t be affected it is the others that we are concerned about.

    Any more help would be welcome….

    #107668
    Kevin D
    Participant

    The only recourse for the clmts and/or the LL would be to seek JR against the RO. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any way around this for the LA.

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